Last Wednesday night, the Lindens sort of quietly made an announcement that basically banned any form of wagering on chance in Second LIfe. Period.
Some casino owners are crying foul, complaining that they weren’t even given a hint of warning.
But as I mentioned when summarizing a Findlaw article last April (which analyzes gambling in second life within the context of the recently passed Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)), you’d have to have not been paying attention in the slightest to have not seen this coming.
This awesome video report from SL-Bernhard Drax on “Metaversed” summarizes the situation beautifully.
Even though the lindens deny it in a post from April 5, everyone else seemed have the general understanding that the Feds were inworld and the jig was up. Soon.
We all knew it wasn’t going to last, but I don’t think anybody thought it was going to all end so quickly.
Here’s another pretty good article on it from Information Week about the Casino owners (different ones than mentioned in the video above) who say Linden kept taking their cash up till the very end:
Second Life Casino Owner Left Scrambling After Gambling Ban: The Second Life entrepreneur complains that Linden Lab was happy to take his money for months after the U.S. banned Internet gambling. And then Linden Lab shut the casinos down abruptly Wednesday.
By Mitch Wagner
Linden Lab, which develops and operates Second Life, announced a ban on gambling Wednesday. Until then, gambling had been one of the most popular activities in Second Life.
Smith, of Brighton, U.K., feels Linden Lab dealt with him unfairly. He notes that U.S. law banning Internet gambling went into effect in October.
“If this law was made in October, 2006, I think it is wrong of Linden Lab to take my money,” said Smith, a mortgage broker in real life. He noted that the name of the business — Casino World — made it obvious what kind of business he was running.
Smith, 34, who goes by the name “Anthonymark Alcott” in Second Life, operates a full server on Second Life — known in SL jargon as a “sim.”
We interviewed Smith in-world Thursday. He teleported in with his avatar still wearing signs and a mask from a protest that he’d been attending immediately prior to the interview.
He said he spent 1 million Linden Dollars — about US$3,800 — on the sim and virtual gambling equipment and furnishings, since launching in February.
And that’s not counting staff or his own sweat equity — he said he’s been working 12-14 hours per day on building Casino World. He said he invested all revenues from the clubs back into the business, to pay for new equipment and entertainment.